Union Memorial to unveil $28 million expansion


After 18 months of construction, the Union Memorial Hospital today unveils a $28 million expansion designed to house its nursing schools and improve services for outpatients.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, Rep. Benjamin Cardin, D-3rd, and other dignitaries were scheduled to cut the ribbon for the eight-story Johnston Professional Building at 3333 N. Calvert St.

The brick-clad building is part of a trend in which hospitals are constructing separate ambulatory-care facilities to enable them to treat many conditions and perform many procedures, including surgeries, on an outpatient basis rather than requiring hospitalization.

It also provides new teaching and training space for Union Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, which is affiliated with Villa Julie College, and the Johnston School of Practical Nursing, which offers a one-year program that trains licensed practical nurses.

"We've tried to plan for the 21st century," said Michael Cunniff, vice president for quality assurance, risk control and facilities management.

"The building is light and airy and that reflects the streamlined operational procedures we've put inside. It's designed to make the hospital more convenient for outpatients and to update the appearance of the campus."

Among the departments in the new building are the William H. M. Finney Spine Center, the Morton K. Blaustein Foot and Ankle Center, the Breast Imaging Center and the Center for Arthritis and Reconstructive Surgery. Linked to a five-story, 334-car garage, the building also contains several floors of physician offices, which are 80 percent reserved, and other outpatient services, such as radiology.

D'Aleo Inc. was the lead architect. Hansen Lind Meyer was a medical design consultant to D'Aleo, and Marks Thomas & Associates was the interior architect for the physicians offices. Mullan Contracting Co. is the general contractor.

Although all areas of the Johnston Building are up and running, a final phase of the expansion will open later this month.

It is the Union Memorial Outpatient Counseling Center, a two-story facility that was constructed to accommodate a psychiatric care program that Union Memorial took over when Homewood Hospital in the 2800 block of N. Charles St., closed several years ago.

Union Memorial has 425 beds and 2,000 employees. It financed its project through the sale of more than $42 million worth of tax-exempt bonds and proceeds from a two-year capital campaign, which raised more than $15 million.

To mark the grand opening, the hospital has scheduled five hours of events, starting with a 5K run at 9 a.m. It will also offer health screenings, musical performances and a one-hour live broadcast of arthroscopic surgery.

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